Hello Wonderful! an interview with the wonderful Christie Bennett

Costume for Mayhem 2012 inspired by Frankenstein, Steam Punk and sewing machines.  (Costume modelled by Julia Gorman Photo by Scott Dawson)

Costume for Mayhem 2012 inspired by Frankenstein, Steam Punk and sewing machines.  (Costume modelled by Julia Gorman Photo by Scott Dawson)


Hello Wonderful!

Today is the first  in a new series I am starting on the blob called "Hello Wonderful!" and through this series I will be introducing you to someone wonderful. The first person I would like to introduce you to is, drumroll please... My very own little sister Christie Bennett! I have known her since she was born and she has maintained wonderful status at all times. Read on to hear about what Christie did when she found herself in a place she didn't want to be and also whether she is open to romance with a being from another planet. 


Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?

My name is Christie Bennett I am a designer/art department lady who is based in Sydney, Australia. I freelance in television, events and theatre. I do set dressing, sourcing, prop making, graphics and costume design/making. I am also lucky enough to be the little sister of the talented Tara Galuska.

What do you believe in?

Time is the most valuable thing you can give someone

When do you feel your most wonderful?

Swimming/floating in the gentle waves at the beach

What is something wonderful that has happened that would never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or wrong turn somewhere? 

Straight out of high school I got communications degree at university, it seemed like a safe and responsible course to study; with lots of job opportunities available after completion of the course. I had always been interested in design but was too scared of competition so decided to ignore my passion for creativity as a career choice. After my communications degrees I got good positions and experience in the communications industry.

In one of these positions I had a really nasty boss that made pretty much everyone on my team miserable. A health scare, a bad boyfriend and this boss all combined made me reevaluate my career and life path. I just didn’t feel right where I was and I still just wanted to study design. I couldn’t explain it but it was just something I had to do and I had to get over my fear of competition. 

So I quit my corporate job, got a part time position in a shoe shop and tried out for design school. It is the best decision I could’ve made for me. I don’t think I necessarily took a wrong turn anywhere but I just found myself in a place I didn’t want to be, so I stepped sideways and worked bloody hard to get into a career that is perfect for me. I find my life so much more fulfilling and rewarding now. Plus all my communications studies and experience from my previous career have made me a better communicator, which is such an important element to being a designer.

Christie worked on production and costume design for Something to be Done at Tap Gallery (photo credit Scott Gallagher)

Christie worked on production and costume design for Something to be Done at Tap Gallery (photo credit Scott Gallagher)

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder? 

As a little girl I did lots of little arts and crafts project with my Mum. One project we did was to make a little envelope purse out of red cotton. I thought it was absolutely perfect after we had sewn it together. Then my Mum suggested that we add a black and gold button and some embellishments-  it blew my five year old brain at what a difference just a little bit of detailing made!

When was the most recent time? 

Part of the reason I love working in the art department/being a designer is that you experience wonder all the time – I love it when myself or a colleague has an idea and you see this idea being put together gradually, piece by piece and then BAM it works! 

The latest project where this happened was a video clip I worked on for “Luke and Wyatt”. I dressed up grown men and women as ants. These costumes were made out of one size fits all onsies and various attachments secured with Velcro and the fake hands/arms were attached to the real person’s hands with string so they had movement. Those second set of arms seemed real in the way they moved. It was a much better effect than I had anticipated and was absolutely hilarious!

The ant costumes for the Luke and Wyatt video clip ended up having a better effect than Christie had anticipated and I will be sharing the video once it is released. Check out the giant swiss cheese! (Photo credit Julia Gorman)

The ant costumes for the Luke and Wyatt video clip ended up having a better effect than Christie had anticipated and I will be sharing the video once it is released. Check out the giant swiss cheese! (Photo credit Julia Gorman)

What is the meanest thing a fortune cookie could ever say to someone?

I just googled this question and saw some really nasty ones, I think the worst was  “Bad luck and misfortune will inest your pathetic soul for all eternity” 

Tell us about a time you really fuckin' nailed it?

Companyby Stephen Sondheim opened at Star of the Sea Theatre, Manly opened recently. I was the set and costume designer. The first thing my director heard from a member of the audience was “That’s a great set! I mean like it’s classy!” To that person it was just a little comment but I was extremely flattered when I had heard about that comment - it meant I had nailed my job. Giving the audience the feeling that they were watching a ‘classy’ show is exactly what I had intended. 

If an alien said they wanted to be "just friends" but you knew they wanted more what would you do? 

Depends, maybe I would want more too! haha

Classy is right! Company, by Stephen Sondheim opened at Star of the Sea Theatre, Manly opened recently and Christie was the set and costume designer.

Classy is right! Companyby Stephen Sondheim opened at Star of the Sea Theatre, Manly opened recently and Christie was the set and costume designer.

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about. Why are they wonderful? 

Dan Patmore, Art Director and Production Designer

 Dan Patmore is an extremely talented man and a wonderful person to work with. He took a chance on me earlier this year and hired me as his assistant on The Full Brazilian, a light entertainment show about the Fifa World Cup. It was my first job in art department for television and was so rewarding. Dan has taken me under his wing a few more times since then and become a great friend and mentor. I have worked with him on a few shows and had him on speed dial to help me out on my first Art Direction job last week (which I survived!).  

Zaha Hadid, Architect

I love interesting architecture and product design – everytime I have seen the work of Zaha Hadid I have instantly fallen in love with it. I love the sophistication of organic shapes in architecture and product design. It’s so impressive that people have the ability to make these structures that are functional and absolutely beautiful.

 Liz Vandal, Costume Designer

I first saw her work at Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. I love her evocative and somewhat mathematical designs. Just check out the costume on her home page– how clever!

Isn't this a great shot from The Full Brazilan? Need a watermelon and/or pumpkin hat whipped up? Just call Christie Bennett! 

Isn't this a great shot from The Full Brazilan? Need a watermelon and/or pumpkin hat whipped up? Just call Christie Bennett! 

Thank you so much Christie! You can find her wonderful self and her work online at her website, Instagram and Pinterest.  

Have a wonderful day and enjoy this video Christie finds inspiring!